The Meiomi Pinot Noir 2014 is composed of 100% Pinot Noir grapes from 48% Monterey County, 27% Sonoma County and 25% Santa Barbara County. Meiomi (translates to “coast” in the language of the local native people) is a brand started by Joe Wagner, part of the Wagner Family who are well-known for Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The Meiomi brand was started in 2009 and by 2015 was producing 700,000 cases. Constellation Brands purchased the label in the middle of 2015. This Pinot was aged in 100% French oak barrels, 60% new barrels. The Meiomi Pinot Noir should sell for between $15 and $20, I found it for $14.99. The alcohol content is 13.7%. And it’s a screw-top.
The color is a dark, opaque garnet red. The nose is red berries, red Twizzlers, black cherry cough syrup and oak spice. The nose wasn’t all that promising, but one sip and all the flavors and textures jump out at you. This is not a polite Burgundian Pinot Noir, the Meiomi has a full mouth-feel and rich flavors. There is a touch of sweetness to this Pinot, but not sugar sweetness, ripe fruit sweetness. It tastes of blackberry, tart cherry and bitter dark chocolate. The mid-palate brings spice, tar, cold coffee and a late hit of chocolate covered strawberry. This is a Pinot Noir for folks who love Malbec and Zinfandel. It is big and bold when compared to the usual Pinot Noir, but if you forget about the usual Pinot and take the Meiomi on its own merits, it has solid balance for a big wine. The tannins are sleek and smooth and the acidity is nicely offset by the body of this wine.
I can see why they are selling 700,000 cases of Meiomi every year, this is a Pinot Noir that stands out from the crowd. It is smooth, it has rich, ripe, bold flavor and while it may be “over the top” when compared to Pinot Noir modeled after the Pinot’s of Burgundy, France, it isn’t out of line for a wine from California or Washington State. If you have never tried a Pinot Noir before, don’t start here. But if you want a flavorful, unique, well-made Red, the Meiomi Pinot Noir 2014 will do the trick.